Thursday, 10 December 2009

When are Influential Blog Posts published? And what makes one anyway?

I was really surprised when I noticed last month that Sarah Stewart had nominated me for an Edublog Award for Most Influential Blog Post. Actually, I was more than surprised I was shocked! The post in question was written a few weeks after I broke my wrist and was in response to an online BBC news article, with the title "Tech Addiction 'Harms Learning'". You can read the blog post here. It is about poor research and poor journalism. I'm not so sure how influential the article was, as none of the authors, the universities involved, or the publishers responded to my emails seeking clarification on the research.
I discovered later that the BBC were not the only people to publish the story. Most of the main UK newspapers had also picked up on it. So as google-sidewiki appeared at the same time I went around leaving links to my blog post anywhere that I could not leave a comment directly.
Paul Bradshaw did manage to get a response from the BBC after he picked the story up on his blog. Well done Paul! But not such a great response from the editor.

I am not so sure that the blog really was influential, or how anyone judges what an influential blog post is. But I am very happy that Sarah nominated me, and that the Edublog Awards team agreed it should be shortlisted.

Still, this post starts with a chart. There are 30 blog posts short listed in the Most Influential Blog Post category and I noticed that several of them, like mine seemed to be posted in the latter half of the year. So, why is September such a good month for blogs? Are we all well rested after the summer and keen to get back to blogging?  Or are memories just short, and when nominating posts we tend to remember best what we have read most recently?

What do you think?


  1. It may be that it's the end of silly season in the mainstream media and so people go on blogs more; it may be that bloggers and readers are back from holiday and dive in afresh. It may be that the topic is education and HE terms start in September?

  2. Well, I can't say much about this because I have to learn a lot to reach this point.

    I am student on occupational therapy university.

  3. Kia ora Anne Marie

    Like you, my blog was nominated for an award last year, more that one in fact. Like you I was astonished that this had occurred (for whatever reason).

    I think you are right. "We tend to remember best what we have read most recently". In fact it may not even be the best of those read most recently, but the ones that take our fancy at the time (for whatever reason).

    I also think that it is political. You may wince at the use of this word, but political is based on a selected and exclusive opinion, often brought about after a pre-determined selection mechanism - such as the nomination process. For me, unfortunately, this smacks too much of fashion, and what takes the fancy of the 'influential' people at the time. It's a ra! ra! ra! that focuses on topics made fashionable by the 'celebs' who nominate rather than the real issues that could be considered.

    It also prompts the nominated to begin a (political) campaign to swell and gather approval.

    Perhaps this is why democracy is sometimes not accepted by those who disagree with the outcomes of the 'democratic process'.

    Catchya later

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  5. Well, congratulations for being nominated. Maybe they saw something in your post that made the organizers select your blog post even if you think that it wasn't as influential as you think.


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